Subscribe to RSS feed

Goa, November 2015

We'd been in Mumbai since August, and stayed mostly in the city. We figured we'd go to Goa. It's India's smallest state, and one of its more independent ones. (It has a strong Portuguese culture from colonialization which continues today, and they are happy to serve real cow beef, unlike the majority of the other states. In Maharashtra, where we live, you will sometimes see 'beef' listed on menus, but that's code for water buffalo.)

Oh, and Goa is clean, and has nice beaches! The northern beach area is pretty overdeveloped, but southern Goa is a bit more mellow and rustic. We stayed at a small place on the beach (Agonda Cottages, on Agonda Beach). It had about a dozen one-room huts. Everything is open air. 'You don't need aircon. The ocean breeze will come just when you think you need it' -- which was true.

Looking for a fun Indian experience, we took the train down. The overnight Konkan Kanya runs right from Mumbai's main station to Goa's station, and from there, a taxi put us on the beach. We met up with our friends from Mexico (and India), for a nice Thanksgiving on the sand.

The idea was to then fly back. I arranged all the tickets, but unfortunately it turned out that I bought five one-way airplane tickets for an entirely different week than the one-way train tickets. Fortunately, India is served by a multitude of well-run domestic airlines, so we were able to get back at a reasonable time, despite my efforts.


Slideshow (big images)

Return to list of galleries

Jump to section:

   Overnight train to Goa
   Boat down the coast
   Fishing boat trip
   Cows and dinner
   Back home

Overnight train to Goa

Our overnight train leaves at 11:30 PM. So we manage to stay up, and head to the Victoria Terminus (Mumbai's awesome old gothic train station).
There are dozens of platforms and thousands of trains a day, so we went with our driver Asif to find the right one. We are taking the Konkan Kanya train, from Mumbai CST to Magdaon Junction.
About 30 minutes before departure, the train people post the seating charts on the outside of each car. Our names are on the chart -- or at least 4/5 of us. (We had five reservations -- but Finn has apparently been absorbed into the rest of us. Though not like he'd want his own car -- the rooms just have four bunks anyhow.)
And we're in! Asif gives Astro a send-off.
It's not up to Euro standards, but it's pretty nice, in a relative sense. Beds are a bit hard. This is India's finest -- First-class AC Sleeper, code-named 1AC.

I think the general philosophy among the train companies here is to build things to be indestructible. If you use the thickest, heaviest steel, they will never break. But don't count on any maintenance or deep cleaning for the next 40 years of operation.

And we 'sleep' for 6 hours, until morning.
It's another six hours until we get to Goa around noon.
By the way, no HDR on these shots. The windows are tinted really dark, so it's actually a bit hard to see out. But it does make it contrast-balanced for photos.
Heidi and Finn get to do some sight-seeing. It's actually a really scenic trip through a lot of wetlands and rivers, although a bit hard to see it through those dark yellow windows.
Astro tries to escape. I do love this picture.
Walking thru the rest of the train. It was 16 cars long -- a big train, all full. This is the 2AC (= 2nd class air-con sleeper cars). There are also 3AC cars (which have three stacked bunks instead of two), and then the Sitter cars, which are just benches, which don't convert to beds.


And we make it to Goa! It's an hour from the train station to our destination on Agonda beach. That's Alexander, Ian, and Daniel, direct from Chennai (where they barely escaped massive flooding). Our friends Elliot and Emily (from Mexico City, and now Chennai) are unpacking.
Now we have a lot of beach photos. Not too many captions needed here.
Never can have too many cows on the beach...
Some more cows.
I know there's a ton ot photos of Finn and Daniel here. They just loved it. Mumbai techncailyl has an ocean, but it's not as clean and accessible as this, so we've had very little time to lets the kids loose for wave-jumpting and surfing.
Alexander eats it up.
As does Piper.
Elliot take kids out for an ocean walk.
Heidi supervises some castle-building.
Piper surfs Goa!
Piper y Alejandro.
Piper with Alexander: "But H! The sun isn't actually, technically quite down yet... can't we stay out another 5 minutes? Please??"
A lot of Connect-4 action on the beach edge.

Boat down the coast

We took a morning boat trip down the coast in this outrigger.
Made by crabs!
Our boat captain with Astro.
Elliot with Daniel, and Emily behind.

Fishing boat trip

And the next afternoon, we totok another trip out, to get some fishing in.
Hey, he's a professional!
Heidi is a very enthusiastic fisher.
We get baited up.
And a catch!
Our drivers were also doing some very close-in gill-net fishing. Didn't catch much, except a whole lot of baby fish, baby star fish, baby everything.
"It'll make good soup." My understanding is that keeping small fish like this hurts the long-term fish population, so it's better to toss them back.

Cows and dinner

Across the street from the beach. Oh look -- there's a nice cow in front of our restaurant!
We pet the cow.
The owner of the restaurant bribes the cow with some bread to get it to leave. I thought that was really good, mutually beneficial relationship.
And for those who were missing the cows: not to worry, as more walked by a few minutes later.
Meanwhile, Daniel and Astro are drawing pictures.
And high-fiving.
Daniel made me a really nice card featuring my three favorite planets.
Food isn't fast (the kitchen has a single burner, staffed by the owner), but it's a nice chance for some pasta under the stars, in the sand.

Back home

And then we head to the airport... this time flying instead of training back.

Return to list of galleries

Henry Throop

Last modified Wed Nov 30 21:46:27 2016